The Q&A Archives: Flower bed

Question: I have a raised flower bed that I want to plant flowers in. What kind would be nice? It faces the North.

Answer: There are two distinct growing seasons in the low desert with different annuals thriving in each season. There's a cool season from approximately the end of September through April. Annuals can be installed from late September to February. Some gardeners prefer to wait until October, as cooler temperatures also help kill off whitefly populations which can quickly decimate plants.

The warm season starts with planting in mid to late February. Some plants will make it through the summer's heat; others will end their growth when the heat arrives in May or June. A northern exposure can be difficult because it can be full shade and full sun, conditions that not alot of plants can take. Heading into summer, it could be full sun. If so, warm-season annuals include sunflowers, tithonia, zinnia, coreposis, cosmos, gaillardia, black-eyed Susan, coneflower, lisianthus, and vinca. A good reference book that contains planting calendars for the low desert is called "Desert Gardening for Beginners: How to Grow Vegetables, Flowers and Herbs in an Arid Climate." ISBN 0-9651987-2-3.

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